In England they have Dyslexia Friendly schools that use teaching systems suitable for Dyslexics and they have found that not only are the Dyslexic students doing better, the “normal” students are achieving higher grades. A reality check that might cause educating bodies to take a hard look at our teaching methods in general especially with literacy scores in many western countries dropping every year.
Educational programs across the world should take the possibility of dyslexic students into serious consideration. A recent US News & World Report article indicates that as many as one in five college students may suffer from some form of dyslexia. Top-notch traditional schools and the best online college programs should ensure that their curriculum is conducive to students suffering from dyslexia. Neil MacKay, an international dyslexia consultant who has worked with the British Dyslexia Association, Education Authorities and departments in the UK, Hong Kong and Malta has much to say about the benefits of Dyslexia Aware and Friendly Schools.
From data collected by Neil MacKay, dyslexia-aware schools in the UK are recording improvements in arrange of measurable indicators, including attendance, attainment (measured through data), achievement(measured through assessment for learning), student and parental confidence, not just for dyslexic students,but also for a wide range of vulnerable learners.
This data, collected from schools engaged in the UK Quality Marking initiative – which recognizes schools for the quality of their inclusive practice – shows improved attendance and punctuality once teaching styles, methods and materials are modified with a dyslexia-aware focus. This focus enables teachers to pull together a range of approaches into a coherent response, and head teachers comment that once they get it right for dyslexic students, this seems to enhance the learning of a majority of pupils in the school, with or without specific learning needs. For those with dyslexia, significant gains towards closing the learning gap have been made, with improvements recorded specifically in writing, reading, maths and science following targeted support.
I strongly suggest you check out their websites and informational pdf files on their progress with getting Dyslexia Awareness Programs into the schools and recognized by the New Zealand government. Very exciting stuff and a positive hopeful note for the future of all Dyslexics.
“Power to the Dyslexic People”
(Okay, maybe I’m getting a little too enthusiastic. We do need to start working together to overcome a world that doesn’t understand our special way of thinking and unlimited talents)
Cheers till next time.
Co-founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online